Believe it or not, COVID-19 is still very much alive and well. Thanks to vaccinations, boosters, and other safety measures, fewer people are dying from complications of COVID. Many of us, including myself, have spent the summer putting COVID on the backburner, and living and socializing like it was 2019.

That line of thinking took us from western Iowa to eastern Iowa on our bicycles in late July. This ride, titled the Des Moines Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, or Ragbrai for short, is the largest organized bicycle ride in the country. People come from multiple states and countries to experience what Iowa has to offer. We joined the other 15,000 people riding through the small towns, camping side-by-side with thousands, eating the home-made pies, the root beer floats, the rib-eye sandwiches, the porkchops, the breakfast burritos, and anything else we could consume as we rode over 420 miles in 7 days.

Cathy Heintz is a 27-year resident of Savage. She is a retired nurse, mother of three and grandmother of five. She loves most sports and enjoys the outdoors.